Durban - Adhere to Covid-19 regulations or risk being hit with stricter regulations like Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the KZN Health MEC has warned the province.
If the people of KwaZulu-Natal do not change their attitudes, the province is at risk of being slapped with tough new Covid–19 restrictions that are similar or more stringent than those imposed in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
This was the warning from KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, who was speaking during the official opening of a new Covid–19 facility at Niemeyer Hospital, at eMadlangeni (Utrecht) yesterday.
On Monday, The Mercury reported on Community Safety and Liaison MEC Bheki Ntuli’s proposal to close the province’s beaches due to concerns over the rising Covid-19 cases in KZN.
Simelane-Zulu said KwaZulu-Natal’s growing Covid-19 cases were a cause for concern, particularly given that on Monday more than 804 new cases were reported, in addition to a further 611 on Sunday.
She said the province currently had a total of 131 725 confirmed Covid–19 cases, 8906 of which were still active, and 3406 deaths.
“We’ve started the festive season … and because we couldn’t hold the majority of activities and community programmes during the year, they’ve been shifted to the December holiday period,” she said.
“Unfortunately, if that is not managed properly, there’s a likelihood of them becoming super-spreader events, which might spread the virus even further.
“As a result, we are calling on the community to ensure that they continue to adhere to the protocols … such as wearing their face masks; washing their hands regularly, with soap and water and hand sanitise and maintain social distancing.
“We’re calling on our people to adhere to these regulations because if they don’t, government will have to step in and be stricter.
“The President recently spoke about tightening the bolts in one municipality. We are not an exception. Should it become clear that we are becoming a hot spot as the Province of KZN, the President will do the same thing to us as a province in its entirety or as certain cities and towns within the province, where the numbers are increasing.”
Regarding the beach closures proposal, the KZN provincial government said in a statement yesterday that no formal decision has been taken on this matter.
It said the Provincial Command Council, chaired by the Premier Sihle Zikalala, was seized with the task of preventing the second wave from hitting the province.
“The primary goal at this stage is to do all we can to curb the spread of the Covid-19 infections while at the same time working hard to revive the economy following the devastation caused by the pandemic. The province is therefore looking at what best can be done to save lives while also protecting livelihoods,” said Zikalala.
Zikalala will on Friday unveil the KZN Integrated Festive Season Safety and Covid-19 prevention plans.